Agisilaos John “Pappy” Pappanikou ’52, professor emeritus of educational psychology at the University of Connecticut and a pioneer and champion in the field of developmental disabilities, died November 6, 2009, in Storrs Mansfield, Conn.
He was born April 3, 1930, in Grevena, Greece, and moved to Augusta, Maine, at the age of 7. He graduated with honors from Cony High School and at Bowdoin was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. After graduation, he was appointed assistant director of education at the Pownal State School. He received his master’s degree in 1957 and his doctorate in 1962, both from Syracuse University. He then embarked on a 24-year teaching career at the University of Connecticut, where he served for many years as the chair of the Special Education Unit in the Department of Educational Psychology. He mentored 51 doctoral degree recipients, authored numerous scholarly publications and papers and co-authored the textbook, Mainstreaming Emotionally Disturbed Children. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Connecticut Alumni Association in 1970, was named an Honorary Life Alumnus by the Alumni Association in 2001, and was presented with the Neag School of Education Alumni Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. The Center for Developmental Disabilities that he established on the Storrs campus in 1985 was renamed the University of Connecticut A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service. In 2007, he was awarded the Bowdoin College Alumni Association Distinguished Educator Award. He was a Freemason of the Cumberland Lodge in New Gloucester, Maine, a member of the Mansfield Lion’s Club, a peer reviewer for federal grants and disabilities, one of the founding fathers of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD), President of the Northeast Region American Association of Mental Deficiency, and served on the committee establishing the first International Medical Conference on Mental Retardation. In recent years, he continued working with parents and school systems to help develop viable programs for children with special needs. He is survived by daughters Anne Druzolowski, Elayne Marrotte, and Sandra Sutyla; son John Pappanikou; and nine grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Lucette Nadeau Pappanikou, and youngest daughter, Lisa Glidden.